Jean Marie Bauhaus

Category: Television (page 1 of 2)

Any day that involves a sonic screwdriver is a good day.

Today I added 486 words to Radium Town — 182 this afternoon plus another 304 just now. That brings the grand total so far to 6,919. I’m frustrated that it’s going so slowly, but considering that up until this time last week I hadn’t written anything on it in over a year, nor had I written any fiction whatsoever in several weeks, I guess I’ll cut myself some slack. I’m still figuring out this world and these characters. I’m confident that I’ll pick up the pace once it’s all more familiar to me and the plot gets rolling along.

Here’s the rough, non-spoilery snapshot of today’s output:

Betty shifted in her seat. She wasn’t accustomed to being the center of conversation. That was uncomfortable enough without having attention called to Will’s regard for her. She could sense Will fidgeting uncomfortably in his seat, as well. She braced herself for the joke he was certain to make, but to her surprised he simply said, “Nope. Not surprised at all.” She turned toward him in time to catch him looking at her, a mixture of pride and wonder on his face. Betty quickly looked down at her plate and took a bite of her roast quail.

Matt and I both felt better today, and a mix of cabin fever and spring fever made us antsy to get out of the house for a while. We went to Gardner’s Used Books, where we scored a beautiful set of second edition Lord of the Rings trade paperbacks in really good condition.

I also nabbed the next Dark Tower book (Wolves of Calla; I’m currently making my way through Wizard and Glass) and the latest Rizzoli and Isles novel (spellcheck wants to change Rizzoli to grizzly; considering what a scary mama-bear book Rizzoli can be that seems appropos). And being that I’ve been reading all this dark stuff lately (House of Leaves, scads of Stephen King, The Ocean at the End of the Lane which is lovely but not exactly the happiest of Neil Gaiman’s books), I also grabbed Maybe Baby by Lani Diane Rich, because I’m starting to crave something light and fluffy to cleanse my palate, and also because Lani is awesome.

And speaking of LDR, I’ve also finally begun listening to the Story Wonk podcast she does with her husband, Alastair Stephens. You should listen to it, too.

The first 182 words today were added from a booth at the coffee shop at Gardner’s, where I dorked out when Matt showed me the LotR set he’d found, and then dorked out again when I got up to the coffee counter and saw a replica of Eleven’s sonic screwdriver sitting next to the cash register. The barista (who might actually be the shop’s owner) let me hold it. It was shiny. I want one.

Came home, fed the dog, apologized profusely for leaving him and the kitties so long, took him and the turtle out in the back yard to soak up the sun, came back in and fed the turtle, wrote some freelance website copy, fed myself (well, Matt fed me) and watched Wolf Creek 2 before Matt turned in and I got busy writing.

Not at all what I’d call a bad day. And now I’m going to go dork out over Supernatural and SHIELD before I turn in.

Farewell, Tubey.

So NBC Universal is shutting down Television Without Pity (normally I’d link that, but I guess there’s really no point, since they won’t even be keeping an archive online). I haven’t actually been on that site in over a year (I think the last show for which I kept up with the recaps was Fringe), but even so, this announcement is stirring up a lot of nostalgia and remembrance. It’s funny how what began as a snarky little website that featured a handful of friends riffing on Dawson’s Creek every week grew into something so big and influential, and how many lives were affected and careers were launched because of it.

I started hanging out on the site when it was still known as Mighty Big TV. I visited it here and there for various show recaps, but I didn’t really get into the forums until Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, specifically right after the episode Fool for Love aired, which marked the point where my fondness of the show (and the character Spike) ramped up to full-on obsession. My burning need to discuss it with somebody who wouldn’t just nod at me with glazed over eyes led me to the MBTV Buffy forum, which led me to several friendships. Most of those have, sadly, dissolved since then, but not before they led to me travelling to places like Nashville and Louisville and Chicago and San Jose and San Franscisco to meet up and have adventures and form amazing memories with some awesome and hilarious women.

The Buffy forum also launched my former fanfic career, so if you’re here because of my Spuffy fic, we can all thank TWoP for that. I still get more feedback and fan mail for my fan fiction than I do for any of my original novels, which is equal parts flattering and frustrating. Would I be a fiction writer now if not for TWoP? Certainly. I was already a writer when I came to it, so I can’t give it credit for that. But writing all that fan fiction, and having it vetted and beta’d by those aforementioned awesome women, taught me a lot about plotting, pacing, characterization, dialogue and other useful mechanics of building a novel. I might have still learned all that stuff by writing in my own sandbox with my own characters, but I wouldn’t have had half as much fun in the process.

Eventually, though, the forums devolved into a lot of drama, and I think I even got banned from them. If I recall correctly, some of my friends got banned, and then all of the rest of us flamed out and got ourselves banned in solidarity. Looking back, I know we all took both the show and the forums and the whole fandom (not to mention the whole Spike vs. Angel debate) just a wee bit too seriously. At least, I know did. But that’s fandom for you.

Which is all to say that, like many People On the Internet, MBTV/TWoP was a pretty big influence on my life, and because of this I’m sad to see it come to an end. Somewhere around here I’m pretty sure I’ve still got a Cafe Press mug made just for the Buffy forum that says “Snark, Snerk and Scoobie Snacks.” I think tomorrow I’ll dig it out and use it to drink a toast to Tubey.

Are you a former TWoPer? If so, I’d love to hear your TWoP memories in the comments. Also, if you’re still addicted to the recaps and this news has hit you especially hard, you should check out Previously.TV, a new iteration created by the original TWoP founders (they just opened a forum, even!). And for hilarious recaps by good-natured people who just really love TV, check out Hey, Don’t Judge Me!

On the Versatility of Spaghetti Squash. And Some Minor Publishing Plans.

Today is groceries & Bible class day, so no time for writing. The grocery shopping’s done, and I stocked up on vegetables in an attempt to get myself back on the low GI wagon. I bought a big spaghetti squash to stand in for all the noodles I’ve been eating lately, and I actually picked out some recipes from my Low GI board in Pinterest and lined up a menu for the week.

I’m mostly looking forward to making (and eating) this Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai (or at least, my own version of it). For the leftover squash I picked up some pesto mix and I’ll just toss it with that and some chicken and Parmesan and pretend it’s pasta. This avacodo, cucumber and tomato salad is on the lunch menu. Hopefully this week will remind me that vegetables can actually be delicious and cleanse all that starch and sugar out of my system so I’ll stop craving it so much. Of course, not looking at Pinterest so often would also help with that.

Later: lunch, then client projects, then Bible class and giving Sasha the rest of her meds. Then we’ll get in bed and watch Justified. We started the first season last night. So far it looks like a keeper.

Weekend plans: I need to give my current book listings some attention and make sure all my author profiles everywhere are up to date, and I need to add some content to the pages of this here blog. I might do a new cover for Restless Spirits, since my graphic design skills have improved so much since the last cover, and also because I’ve been told by male readers that they loved it but were reluctant to read it because the cover is too “romancey.” I’m also thinking about experimenting with changing my pen name from my full name to just J. M. Bauhaus to see if that helps to lure in more male readers (and isn’t it a shame that that’s even something I have to consider in this day and age? Sigh. Boys.), but that might cause me to lose my reviews on Amazon, so we’ll see.

Friday Five: TV Vampires

Between yesterday being Bram Stoker’s birthday, and me being thisclose to finishing revisions on my vampire/zombie novel, it seems appropriate for this week’s Friday Five to count down my Top Five Vampires of the small screen (but sorry, Mr. Stoker, Dracula didn’t make the cut).

I have a confession – I haven’t seen True Blood or Vampire Diaries, and the little bit I have seen of Twilight kind of made me want to find Stephanie Meyer and kick her in the shins. Which is kind of irrelevant, since this is about TV vampires, but it still bears mentioning. For me, the Buffyverse was pretty much the pinnacle of my vampire fandom, and it pretty much ruined all other vampires for me. Nevertheless, although this list could easily consist entirely of the Fearsome Foursome plus Harmony, I’ve limited my choices to only three Buffyverse vampires. I’m sure it surprises nobody that they top my list.

1. Spike – Has there ever been a redemption arc as compelling or heart-breaking as Spike’s evolution from bad boy Slayer arch-nemesis to lovesick anti-hero to full-fledged noble hero? I think not. And in all of his incarnations, Spike managed to be equal parts dead sexy and hilarious. HE is the one who ruined me for all other vampires. They just don’t make ‘em like Spike anymore.
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Friday Five: Five Scariest Film Monsters (Blog Hop)

I’m combining the introduction of a new regular feature with the advent of Halloween and the upcoming Blog Hop I’ll be joining in next week.  Introducing my Friday Five — which I know is not a new concept, but instead of five random things from the week, I’ll be posting my top (or, occasionally, bottom) five list for a given category.

This week’s category? In the spirit of Halloween, I give you my Top Five Scariest Film* Monsters:

*I’m using the term “film” loosely to include both movies and television, and even YouTube. Why? Because Marble Hornets.

Five: The Gentlemen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Hush”) – They have faces like grinning skulls, they float along with their creepy, straight-jacketed henchmen who look like something out of Silent Hill, they steal everyone’s voices, and oh, did I mention that they come into your room and hold you down and cut out your heart and you can’t scream because of the whole stolen voices thing? Easily the scariest demons from all seven seasons of Buffy.

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Chosen

No, not to be the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill blah blah blah. Although that would be nifty. But it seems that we’ve been selected to become a Nielsen household.

You guys. Seriously? Why–and I ask again, WHY?!–could this not have happened a decade ago? You know, back when I was obsessed with TV? And my obsessions usually ran toward obscure SF-nal shows that were always in danger of cancellation, or simply doomed from the beginning? Why does it have to happen now, when I can take or leave most of what’s on the air and every now and then I actually seriously pondering giving up television entirely? When we don’t even have cable and most of what we watch is online, and only really use the TV to watch local programming or DVDs? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU MATTERED TO MY LIFE, NIELSEN COMPANY?

Sigh.

So, we’re debating whether to do it. And if we do, we probably won’t admit it, because we don’t want to be getting obsessive e-mails from fans of bubble shows pleading with us to watch it. Although, I’m sure we could find a way to exploit that sort of thing, if we were all exploitative and stuff, but we’re not, really, so never mind. Nevertheless, it seems to require a time commitment that neither of us are really able to make. And neither of us are keen on having their tracking software hooked up to our PCs. Not that we have anything to hide, it just seems a little creepy. And if we have to fill out weekly diaries instead… like I said, who has time for that?

I was surprised to find the packet on our door informing us that we’ve been selected. They sent us a survey a few months ago, but we never got around to filling it out, and so assumed that we’d missed our chance. We still have to call the number on the card to find out exactly what’s involved and what would be required of us. Of course, phone-o-phobes that we both are, we’re debating whether even that much is worth our while. But I think we should probably call and have all the facts before we make our decision.

I just can’t get over how much this would have been a dream come true if it had happened when Joss Whedon was still doing TV.

Mid-Season TV Roundup

Once Upon a TimeThe TV season’s halfway over — okay, more than half. I’m a little behind on this — and that means it’s time to see which shows from my start-of-season roundup I’m still watching, which I’ve pulled the plug on, and which mid-season shows have made the lineup.

First, the breakups:

Survivor/The Amazing Race/America’s Next Top Model/The X-Factor

I never thought the day would come, but… reality competition shows just aren’t doing anything for me anymore. I know, right? I can’t believe it, either. But I just COULD NOT do another season with anybody from the Hantz family, or with Coach, or with “I used to be awesome but now I’m a whiny douche” Ozzy, for that matter, and I found myself paying less and less attention. And TAR, while not really irritating me the way Survivor did, just wasn’t holding my attention. The X-Factor also started to feel like a chore to sit through after the first few eliminations. The only reality show I watched all the way to the end of the season was ANTM, and then there was that hinky business with Angelea, and I just don’t have the energy for any more of Tyra’s shenanigans. I’m done.

Glee

I had already reached the point where I was just in it for the singing. I almost dumped it for good after that cracked-out Christmas episode, but then a preview of the Michael Jackson ep pulled me back in; but by the time the Valentine’s Day ep got here I wasn’t even enjoying the singing anymore, certainly not enough to endure Very Special Episode sermons about how my religion should feel about certain issues from Ryan Murphy. I couldn’t even get excited about finally seeing Rachel’s dads even though it was some of the best casting ever. I just didn’t care. Goodbye, Glee.

The New Girl

I only made it four episodes, none of which lived up to the hilarious pilot, before going back to my No Half-hour Comedies rule. Life is too short. Sorry, Zooey Deschanel. I still think you’re adorable.

Chuck 

I didn’t break up with Chuck, it broke up with all of us, and broke my heart a little in the process. I will always love you, Chuck.

 

The New Shows:

Once Upon a Time 

Technically not a midseason replacement, but it got a late enough start to not be included in my original round-up. Actually, I didn’t even know about it yet when I wrote my last TV post. But I’m glad I found out, because it’s my favorite new show by far. It’s a fairy-tale soap opera wrapped up in a Lost-style mystery, with a villain who is completely unapologetic and evil (with Jane Espenson’s involvement I suspect it’s no coincidence that the best TV Big Bad since Mayor Wilkins is… another Mayor! Shout-out!), and another villain who seems to possibly be poised for a redemption arc, and you know how I am about those. It’s not my favorite favorite show (yet), but it’s got all of the ingredients for getting there.

Sherlock

Matt and I actually watch this one together. The extremely short seasons are hella frustrating, but my word, is this show good. I always said that Doctor Who had a lot of Sherlock in him and now Sherlock’s got a lot of The Doctor in him. It’s smart, witty, sexy, and a pure fangirl delight. Do not miss this show.

Smash

This is filling the void in the Broadway geek part of my soul quite nicely. It has a great cast, the writing is good, and the musical numbers are making me want them to produce Marilyn the Musical in the real world. And I didn’t start watching AI until David Cook’s season, so I’m not a big fan of Kathryn McPhee (not to say that I don’t like her… I’m just not a big fan), so I keep rooting for Ivy.  Who is played by Megan Hilty who is an actual Broadway star and was a Galinda, so how could I not? She’s pretty awesome. You should look up her “Popular” performance on Youtube sometime. Also, Jack Davenport: Rawr.

The River

Paranormal Activity in the Amazon. The execution isn’t perfect, but it has its moments. Besides, it’s only 7 episodes long, so it’s not a huge commitment.

Alcatraz

This is a solid show. I’m not all a-flutter over it yet, but it has a good cast, good writing, and enough intrigue to keep me coming back for more. And this is pretty much exactly how I felt about Fringe during its first season, so yeah, you can bet I’m going to give it plenty of time to find its crazy legs and become another Bad Robot masterpiece.

Speaking of…

Still watching:

Fringe

Oh, Peter.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that, other than that this is still my favorite US-produced show currently on television.

Doctor Who

… and I’m incredibly frustrated that it’s on hiatus until OCTOBER! Why are they torturing us? Why?

Supernatural

Although, the urgency is gone, and I’m several episodes behind. First Cas, then Bobbie, and I love my boys, but I also loved their family that they had built around them, and now they’re all gone. I can’t say I agree with the decision to keep going another season. But I just can’t quit them, either.

But dang it, I really miss Cas.

Castle

This show is as entertaining as ever, and I loves me some Fillion, but seriously, show: you cannot drag this will they/won’t they schtick out another season. Get them together already, or don’t, and make it stick. Sheesh.

Ringer

I’m still loving watching Buffy and Evil Buffy. And I’m impressed that this show has so much that could make it into pure camp, but it never crosses that line. It’s a good show, as nighttime soaps go, and SMG is as delightful as ever. Also, this rule is proven to still be true: if Buffy cries, I cry.

 

So that’s what I’m watching these days. What shows are you watching?

Jericho Addendum

Okay, so we finished the series, and I now feel obligated to say that yes, it did get better in the second season. A lot of that was due to the addition of Esai Morales to the cast, and you can’t help but make things better by tossing an Adama–any Adama–into the mix. The writing was still problematic, but that became less noticeable with a shift to more political action and intrigue, less “aw shucks, we’re just a small town fighting our way through a big disaster with a lot of persistence and pluck.” The production values also improved. I can’t think of one instance in season two where Matt paused the show to point out some visual gaffe (other than the fact that this small Kansas town appeared to be a mountain town, but I can get over that; mountains are pretty hard to hide).

With only seven episodes in the second season, it felt more like a mini-series follow-up than an actual season of the show, and it wrapped up enough of the major loose ends to provide a decent amount of closure. Even so, after going several days without, I’m actually starting to feel withdrawal pangs over this weirdly addictive apocalyptic family drama, and since finishing the series I can now understand where the fans who still pine for this show to make a comeback are coming from.

Jericho

I missed this back when it originally aired on CBS, but since Matt and I have been on a survival show kick lately and we needed something to tide us over while waiting for the second season of Dual Survival to show up on Netflix, we decided to give Jericho a chance. I think I initially avoided it because of its main premise, which is that most of the US is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. I mean, I still have nightmares from watching The Day After as a kid, and giving too much thought to nuclear war tends to leave me holding myself while I rock back and forth. But I know this show had a rabid fan following, and I have a certain fondness for Skeet Ulrich, and like I said, we’re on a survival kick, and we thought, just maybe this show will have something to teach us.

Well, not so much. You guys, I really wanted this show to be great. I mean, the people who love this show really LOVE this show, and I wanted to love it too. But it’s… I don’t know. It’s like it’s not just the Hollywood version of a plucky small town full of plucky survivors living outside of the fallout zone of a post-nuclear wasteland, but it’s the CBS version of that, you know? And it’s this weird dichotomy of good actors giving straight-faced, heartfelt performances against cheap production values and lazy writing that’s full of plot holes and painfully obvious that the writers and producers couldn’t even be arsed to do a lazy Google/Wikipedia version of research about anything. And while I’m the sort who is normally able to suspend my disbelief fairly easily and overlook things like obvious stunt doubles (for “stunts” like walking out a door?) and palm trees and mountains showing up in Kansas (it’s like they’re not even trying to hide them), Matt is not that sort of person and it pulls him out of the story every time–and then he has to pause it and point out the gaffes to me.

All of that said, I think I do kind of love this show. We’re almost finished with the first season, and I will say that the story–if not necessarily the writing–is getting better. The Touched By An Angel quality has diminished as the town begins to face actual hardship, and the fact that this town in the beginning seems extremely lucky and barely touched by The End Of The World As We Know It actually becomes a plot point. It’s a very character-driven show, and a little soapy, which makes it a little easier to overlook a lot of the implausibilities. It’s frustrating, because this show really could have been excellent if the production staff seemed to care half as much about it as the actors, but there are parts of it that are good, and parts of it that are so bad, and it’s a little bit unintentionally campy, but it’s all entertaining. And as much as we both complain to each other about this show’s problems, we’re still compelled to keep watching it. As much as I have to say that I can see why it was cancelled, I have a feeling I’m going to bemoan its cancellation regardless once I get to the end.

There’s still a hue and cry among this show’s fans for it to be brought back into production. What I would rather see is a remake — even as anti-remake as I usually tend to be — helmed by someone like J. J. Abrams or Joss Whedon or Ronald D. Moore or somebody who cares about making shows good. Regardless of your opinion of the original, tell me that that would not be pure awesome.

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